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Airsoft Innovations TORNADO Grenade
The Tornado grenade, pin, reset key and end cap. Put the reset key on your gear with paracord so you don't lose it!
Two holes for 3 seconds (lower) and 1.5 seconds nominal delay. Unplugging the top plug on the left reduces the delay close to zero.
The fill valve is protected from dirt under the end cap, and removing the end cap disarms the 'nade. Genious!
Perfect fit for the Tornado grenade and attaches with a single MOLLE strap! Available soon!
Put Paracord through the drain grommet and attach the other end to the pin to prevent losing it.
BOOM! The grenade sprays BBs out visciously in a random 3D pattern. Very good spread and incredible range! (Photo courtesy of AI)
go to Product Page >> Airsoft Innovations Tornado Grenade (Black)

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FIRE IN THE HOLE!

How many times you've been in a close encounter, known that there's someone in the next room or bunker that you have to take out, but as soon as you'd stick as much as a finger out you'd be met by a hailstorm of BBs? Never? OK you can quit reading now, but the rest of you should continue. For as long as Airsoft guns have been used for recreational wargames, players have longed to make gameplay more realistic as well as effective by the use of grenades.

While grenades that just go "BANG!" work in small groups where everyone knows the rules and the honor system, even then it feels like a substitute. The name of the game is to get eliminated from being hit with a BB, and a fixed "kill radius" doesn't take into account use of cover and other random things associated with grenades. So the grenades should shoot BBs, preferably with good spread and range.

 

AN INNOVATION

Based in Canada, Airsoft Innovations is probably best known for the Propane Adaptor they released a few years back. Complete with lab tests they proved that Green Gas (aka. Top Gas) is in fact propane (C3H8). This adaptor and knowledge was great news to anyone who prefers the realism of gas operated models. Being a player himself, the designer of the propane adaptor has again understood what the players are really looking for, and answered that call: An effective re-usable Airsoft grenade!

Videos on our Tornado product page show very clearly what the fuss is all about, and how it works. Green gas is released through a rather large valve into two helicoil tubes that go around the grenade, pushing 90 BBs out of each for a total amount of 180 BBs shot. As the BBs accelerate, their inertia causes the body of the grenade to rotate in the opposite direction, creating a spinning effect to increase spread. The other "tube" points upwards and the other one downwards to make the spread 3D instead of a circular pattern.

 

HOW TO USE?

The use of the AI Tornado grenade can be split in two phases: Reload and functions of the grenade, and how to deploy it in the field. First things being first as they say, we'll pull the grenade out of the package and prepare it for use first. The procedures are most safe and convenient to do in this order:

  • Unscrew end cap from the bottom of the grenade and remove top plug.
  • Reset valve with the included key.
  • Choose between a 3 second and 1.5 second delay, and set the pin accordingly.
  • Charge gas and attach top plug.
  • Load BBs. A complete 180 BB load is necessary for proper effect.
  • When you enter the gaming area, screw on the end cap. The grenade is now ARMED.

    After pulling the pin, you will have a longer or shorter delay, depending on where you set it initially. They are 3 seconds and 1.5 seconds nominally, which will be affected by temperature. You can change the delay from long to short with the help of an extra pin, but not vice versa. The delay was found to be quite consistent in our tests, and the shorter delay was usually a more practical choice, unless it was really hot. A third option is to leave the top plug open, which makes the delay virtually zero. This is a useful feature for booby trap applications, and generally the three-step system is more field-worthy than finicky adjustment screws.

    When you recover the grenade, unscrew the end cap first to make it safe, even if you know it went off. This routine prevents you from bringing an unlikely dud still armed into the off-game area. When the end cap is removed, the grenade is able to expel the gas, but it'll all come out from the bottom and won't shoot out the BBs. Apart from being the ARM/DISARM function of the grenade, the end cap also protects the gas fill valve from dirt, and features a dump cap that blows out if the grenade has been charged with too powerful gas.

    As the grenade goes off, it reminds a bit of releasing all the BBs of a regular magazine - except that it expels 2-3 times as many BBs, and it happens much more quickly, within 0.18 seconds! While the top speed of the BBs at 135 fps doesn't sound high compared to an AEG, it is far higher than any Airsoft hand grenade has achieved so far.

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    ZEN AND THE ART OF 'NADING

    For such a simple device in principle, a hand grenade has countless various uses. There are different ways to throw the grenade, not to mention creative uses as a booby trap. Intention and thought is the thing that separates a grenadier from a barbarian.

    The basic run-off-the-mill style is just to pull the pin, throw the grenade, wait behind cover for it to go off and then finish the job with your primary weapon, if necessary. However, you can increase the hit potential especially in grassy area by "cooking" the grenade in your hand before throwing it. Lobbing the grenade from the underarm side is good for safety reasons, but it also gives you a slower flight to increase likelihood of the grenade going off above the opponents, creating an air-burst as seen in the video. As cool as it looks, do take cover when you are in an actual gaming situation, because hits from your own grenade count!

    Another way of using the grenade is rolling, which is even safer than an underhand throw, and a good trick indoors. Note: When pulling the pin, make sure the top of the grenade points up if you have the 'nade in your right hand, and down if you use the left hand to roll. That way the rolling motion is already the same as the accelerating BBs will provide, and you will get better spread!

    A nasty trick is to turn the grenade into a booby trap with a trip wire, and leave the top plug open for almost instant detonation. To allow the grenade to turn, put it in a mug, and attach the mug rather than the grenade body wherever you place the trap. If the mug is too deep, put something under the grenade to have the BB exit holes clear the rim.

     

    MAINTENANCE

    Everyone who's dealt with gas operated guns knows about cooldown. As the liquid gas turns into gaseous form when the valve is opened, the reaction needs heat from the surroundings and cools down the gas tank. When you release all of the gas at once through a big gaping valve, the temperature will obviously drop very rapidly. Proper maintenance is required to keep the seals in good order and the timer delay consistent. While regular silicone oil is fine to keep the seals from drying out, a special industrial grade silicone oil selected and tested by Airsoft Innovations provides better delay consistency on top of the maintenance function. Two drops into the main valve every two blasts is enough, so the Tornado is certainly not a lube-hog.

    Other than keeping the seals lubed and obviously keeping the Tornado externally clean, there's really no other maintenance involved and you never have to disassemble it, so it's a hassle-free product in this sense.

    CARRYING

    The grenade is small enough to fit in M16 magazine pouches with room to spare. Smoke grenade pouches are generally too large, while 40 mm shell pouches are too small. We thought a tighter pouch would allow to attach more of them on the load carrying equipment, so we decided that a dedicated pouch is The way to go. In the pictures you see a sample, and these pouches are already in production at the time of writing. The rear will feature a single MOLLE strap (as opposed to two in M16 mag pouches), so it will be a better option for those running out of real estate on their vest. These are produced for us by Pantac, which means the quality will be uncompromised!

    RedWolf-trick: Put about 30cm (a foot) of paracord through the drain grommet and tie a knot to prevent it from coming through. The other end goes on the grenade pin, which means you can let go of the pin without losing it in the field!

    A FEW WORDS IN THE END

    When we first saw the videos released by Airsoft Innovations, this grenade already struck as something different. Many realistic-looking grenades were not working at a quite satisfying level, or they featured pyrotechnics which is a no-no in some countries and gaming sites. When we saw the AI Tornado grenade in person in our office, we were immediately sold on the idea: No more imitation of a real grenade, but minimize the loss of parts and maximize effect. These are big words but it's a cheque the Tornado can cash.

    Click here to get yours now!

    RedWolf Airsoft is the Exclusive Distributor for AI products in Hong Kong and the United Kingdom.